Being investigated by the police

Although it's not common, if you're ever being investigated by the police it's important to know your rights, obligations and where to turn for help.

GDC standards

GDC Standard 9.3 in 'Standards for the Dental Team' states that, "You must inform the GDC if you are subject to criminal proceedings or a regulatory finding is made against you anywhere in the world."

You need to tell the GDC if you are charged with a criminal offence, convicted of a criminal offence or accept a criminal caution. The GDC sets out in detail what you must inform them about in its 'Guidance on reporting criminal proceedings'. This also clarifies when the GDC does not need to be informed - for example, if you have received a fixed penalty notice for a road traffic offence.

Police investigations

If you are being investigated by the police, you shouldn't admit or accept anything until you have spoken to a solicitor. This solicitor should be aware of the potential consequences for your career.

Fortunately it is very rare for a dental professional to be contacted by the police regarding their care of a patient - but if you are being investigated by the police about an allegation arising from your clinical practice, call the DDU immediately on 0800 374 626. This is vital if you have been arrested and have been or will be interviewed under caution.

  • Our advice line is available 24-hours a day for situations like this. Please call us, even if you are offered the duty solicitor.

If you might be a suspect, don't give any account to the police without seeking our advice first, and ask for the name and contact details of the police officer so we can liaise with them. If you're asked to attend for an interview on a particular date, say you are willing to cooperate but would like to speak to your defence organisation first, to ask if they can provide representation.

Finally, you shouldn't make contact with anyone who might be a witness in the police investigation and should not discuss the allegations with anyone before speaking to your DDU adviser or legal team.

This page was correct at publication on 15/12/2022. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.